HoopsHype Adam Silver rumors

March 19, 2014 Updates

During the session, Silver hit on a variety of topics, including the league’s TV rights deals, tanking, jersey ads, expansion and ways fans consume the league digitally. Here are a few quick hits: On jersey ads: “I think it’s inevitable. There are so many programs because of TiVo where people are skipping all the commercials, it just creates that much more of an opportunity for our marketing partners to get closer to our fans and closer to our players. And it gives us an opportunity to have deeper integration when it comes to those forms of sponsorship. … I think it’s going to become more accepted and commonplace by U.S. fans. Most likely within five years.” Sports Business Daily

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says the way that the NBA sells games on smartphones and tablets, and the way that fans consume them, is “pretty clunky,” and that he’d like to find ways to simplify the process. “The existing combination of blackouts and multiple broadcasters makes it very difficult to present what would otherwise be a simpler consumer experience,” said Silver during a one-on-one interview at the 2014 IMG World Congress of Sports. “Nirvana would be that if someone was tweeting about a great game, and they say ‘tune in, LeBron has 25 points through the first quarter against Cleveland,’ that you just go ‘click’ and if you’re an authenticated subscriber, you can then get that game. Right now – less because of market considerations and more because of limitations in technology – the only way you can buy our out-of-market package is through an All-You-Can-Eat package of games. And that’s not optimal for a lot of consumers. Our hope is that working with our TV partners, including RSN partners, you can have one combined ecosystem.” Sports Business Daily

March 17, 2014 Updates

Mark Cuban on Adam Silver denying tanking exists in the NBA: "No one thinks it doesn't exist, it's just a question of whether or not it's effective. And when so many teams tank in one conference, it's not effective." Cuban went on to explain that in the Eastern Conference, tanking actually becomes difficult on account of there being so many teams all trying to tank at once. With so many teams planning on tanking from the beginning, plus teams who weren't trying to winding up there (Milwaukee), it creates a competitive tanking environment, basically. CBSSports.com

So Silver proposes forcing players to stay in college an extra year, meaning NCAA basketball would be be filled with even more prospective NBA wannabes, who would be forced to go from one-and-done in college to two-and-through. Donovan's stance is he doesn't want the extra year of headaches and distractions that come from players who have no desire to be in college. "College basketball coaches and programs are taking on all the risks," Donovan says. "The kid doesn't want to be in college and wants to be in the NBA, but because of the rules, he has to stay in college. Now you're opening yourself up for potential NCAA violations. … You've got players like Jabari Parker [Duke] or Julius Randle [Kentucky], and there is so much coming at these kids. If a kid takes something he's not supposed to take or he is enticed into something, it's the colleges that are put in harm's way." Orlando Sentinel

March 16, 2014 Updates

Privately, the NBA has a major issue with “one-and-done” players entering the league and clogging up rosters. With the new collective bargaining agreement emphasizing more price-effective contracts, owners need more production from rookies. Cleveland’s Anthony Bennett, who has experienced a disastrous rookie season as the first overall pick, is a prime example of a player unprepared for the NBA rigors. And if the argument is for the owners to avoid drafting one-and-done players, well, that may be difficult when 15 of the best 20 prospects are freshman entries. “The next step is for us to formulate a proposal,” said Silver, who visited Boston last week. “What I’ve been saying internally at the NBA is let’s make sure we have a better understanding of the issue. It’s a lot more complicated than just saying 19 to 20. College needs to have a seat at the table because there are various rules they can address as well as to the window in which you can hire an agent, maintaining eligibility, potentially insurance for kids who are forgoing college and becoming a pro. It’s got to be more of a holistic approach, but ultimately there’s nothing we can do without our players association.” Boston Globe

Somebody asked Bobcats coach Steve Clifford what he thought about raising the age limit for entry into the NBA draft. Clifford said most players can only benefit from another season at a program like Duke or North Carolina. But he stopped short of saying that’s reason to change the rule, and I know why: Clifford saw how impactful LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony were long before they would have completed a sophomore season in college. There are always exceptions. Charlotte Observer

One of the issues holding up any discussion on the NBA age limit is the lack of an executive director for the players’ union. The players were able to talk with two candidates at the All-Star Game but appear no closer to choosing a replacement for Billy Hunter, who was removed last year. Of course, any decision on an age limit would have to be approved by the players, and with no front man, the NBPA is quickly losing ground Boston Globe

The NBA has promised to listen if enough players complain, although commissioner Adam Silver also said during All-Star weekend that there is not hard data to prove players actually are shooting worse. "We know that shooting percentages are virtually exactly the same for games in which we have sleeved jerseys and games in which the guys are wearing conventional jerseys," Silver said. "So I'm pretty comfortable from a competitive standpoint that it's having no impact." Unless, of course, you happen to look in the mirror. Then the evidence is irrefutable. "They look disgusting," Jack said. "You look like a volleyball team." Cleveland Plain Dealer

March 12, 2014 Updates
March 8, 2014 Updates

Silver stopped to greet a couple of reporters inside Barclays Center before Wednesday’s game between the Nets and Grizzlies. As the conversation progressed, a couple of younger fans came over and interrupted. “Mr. Silver,” they ask, “how about a selfie?” “Sure,” Silver says, turning around to take a picture with them, then returning to the conversation. New York Post

March 2, 2014 Updates

U.S. Anti-Doping Agency head Travis Tygart says it is not difficult for NBA players to beat the league's drug-testing program. Tygart told ESPN.com that the NBA's testing program, which is built on six urine tests a year, is "not at all" tough to beat. ESPN.com

"Unfortunately, I think the athletes are being let down by the system," Tygart said in an interview with ESPN.com at the Sloan Conference on sports analytics Saturday at MIT. "Really, I've said it before. If there's no chance of getting caught, and you're overly competitive, you're going to do anything possible to win. That includes using these dangerous drugs because they will give you a performance-enhancing benefit. "We're hopeful at some point the athletes are supported and given the opportunity to be held to the highest standards. They do it when they're subjected to the Olympic testing, a year out before the OIympic Games. They're under our jurisdiction subject to blood testing and out-of-competition, no-notice, no blackout periods for when they can't be tested. And they fully support it. We've never had a player say they didn't want to be part of the program because of the testing." ESPN.com

"I don't want to be naïve. We don't have HGH testing in our league. It's something we agreed we'd do with the union, and we're waiting to figure out what the appropriate procedures are. Understandably -- and I'm sympathetic to the players here -- because it requires the taking of blood, we want to make sure it's done in the absolute right way. The NFL and their player association are going through the same discussion." Tygart, however, dismisses the long-held NBA position that a lack of overt signs of PEDs means the lack of a problem. "Don't be naive to the pressures," Tygart said before hearing Silver's comments. "Take your head out of the sand." ESPN.com

March 1, 2014 Updates

“I don’t agree with coach Van Gundy at all,” Silver said. “I just came for locker room spoke to the coach (Brett Brown). It is an insult to the entire league to suggest these guys are going out on the floor and aren’t doing their very best to win games.” Nobody is saying the Sixers aren’t trying to win once on the court. Even Van Gundy didn’t say that. He said the way they gutted the team gives the Sixers little chance to win. So Silver tried to address that issue. “Now if what Stan Van Gundy is addressing is what appropriate rebuilding, which every organization goes though and it’s not just sports,” Silver said. Philadelphia Inquirer

Adam Silver, while working for the NBA before becoming the league's commissioner, floated the idea of adding play-in games for the postseason and got some support from owners. Now as commissioner, Silver remains "fascinated" with the idea of a tournament to determine the final playoff spots. "By having a seven-game series, you reduce the randomness of the outcome," Silver said. "I think what's so exciting about college basketball -- and I'm a huge college basketball fan -- is the single-elimination tournament, the NCAA tournament. There, statistically, you're gonna have a lot more upsets. So, I think for us, well, I have mixed views. "In case of certain teams where star players were injured for a portion of the season or the team didn't jell until later in the season, that team can become competitive. Right? I like that idea." ESPN.com

While performance-enhancing drug scandals have rocked sports such as baseball and cycling in recent decades, the NBA has mostly steered clear of controversy. And according to commissioner Adam Silver, that’s not an accident. At MIT’s Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, the new boss of the league said he doesn’t believe there is widespread PED use by players. “I don’t have that sense,” Silver said on Saturday, during a panel discussion with author Malcolm Gladwell. “We may be just that we’re fortunate in the NBA that there is a cultural view that those types of drugs are not helpful for performance.” For The Win

The NBA does not currently test for human growth hormone, although the league and players’ union have said they want to reach an agreement on a testing process. “It’s something we’ve agreed we would do with our union, and we’re waiting to figure out what the appropriate procedures are, Silver said. “Understandably, and I’m sympathetic to the players here, where because it requires the taking of blood, we want to make sure that it’s done in the absolute right way. “To our players association’s credit, that was not a contentious negotiation—on drug testing six times a year, on agreeing to the appropriate procedures.” For The Win

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